Professional Safety Development

Type in Safety Certification into a search engine and you’ll get a plethora of options.

In fact there are about 300 certification programs and titles available in the United States in safety, health, environment and ergonomics fields.  With so many options you have to question, which ones are better? Getting the best certification possible is especially important in today’s economy because many employers and government organizations rely on the certification process to select employees or award contracts.

Program Accreditation:

Of course many of the “not so accredited safety certifications” realize the importance of accreditation so they have aligned themselves with accreditation groups which are themselves, not accredited.The first thing you need to look at is the programs accreditation. Accredited peer certification programs set standards and evaluate people against the standards.  The standards include minimum requirements for education/training and experience and demonstrated knowledge and skill through examinations.

True accreditation of peer certification programs provides an independent, third-party evaluation of many factors which contribute to ensuring candidates, certificate holders, employers, government agencies and the public that a certification program operates fairly, openly and effectively.

The two organizations most commonly awarding accreditation in the environmental, safety, and health fields are the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) administration of the ISO 17024 standard. Both organizations evaluate peer certification boards for compliance with national and international standards.

If the certification you are looking at is not accredited by at least one of these two entities you may want to look elsewhere!

What Safety Certifications are best?

When shopping for a safety certification, it is imperative to review the quality of the program. Holding accredited certifications and demonstrating competency through quality certification programs can open doors to employment, advancement, leadership, contracts and compensation.

There are generally speaking 6 certifications which are well respected in the safety, health, environment and ergonomics fields.

  1. OHST/ CLCS- The OSHT or CLCS are technologist level certifications offered by the Board Of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). An Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST) or a Certified Loss Control Specialist (CLCS) is a person who performs occupational health and safety activities on a full-time or part-time basis as part of their job duties. These certificate holders do not require a college degree and the certification requirements are less stringent than some of the other certifications listed below. For more information click here. http://www.bcsp.org/ohst_clcs.
  2. Like the OHST/ CLCS, the Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) certification is offered by the BCSP as a technologist level certification for individuals who demonstrate competency and work part-time or full-time in health and safety activities in the construction industry. For more information click here.  http://www.bcsp.org/chst.
  3. CHMM- The Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) certificate is offered by the  Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM). This certificate offers the hazmat industry’s premier accredited professional credentials and required a Baccalaureate degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in hazardous materials management, environmental science, one of the physical sciences, or a related field.  For more information click here.  http://www.ihmm.org/4. CIH- The Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) designation is provided by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). The CIH is the premier occupational hygiene certification in the world. CIH’s required at least a Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics or an ABET accredited program in industrial hygiene or safety. For more information click here.  http://www.abih.org/.
  4. CPE- The Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) designation is offered by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE). CPE’s required at least a master’s degree and three years of practice in human factors/ergonomics. For more information click here.  http://www.bcpe.org/.#mce_temp_url#
  5. CSP- The Certified Safety Profesional (CSP) credential is the mark of the safety professional. Like the Professional Engineer designation for engineers or the Certified Public Accountant designation for accountants, the CSP certification marks individuals who have met educational and experience standards and passed rigorous examinations validated against the practice of hundreds of safety professionals. No other safety certification holds the same level of demand by employers and government agencies. Also no other safety credential has the same impact on salary.  CSP’s required at least a bachelor’s degree and 5 years of professional experience. For more information click here.  http://www.bcsp.org/csp.

In summary, as the need for certified safety, health, environment and ergonomic professionals increases so does the importance of your certification. Obtaining an accredited certificate will identify you as a source of expertise, and enhance your reputation and professional credibility.

If you would like more information on obtaining the OHST/ CLCS credential visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-management-courses/ohst-prep-.

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Safety Tip – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Everyday, a whopping 1,000 eye injuries happen in a US workplace. Due to the high number, the Department of Labor’s survey research has revealed that nearly 3 out of 5 workers failed to wear eye protection and about 40% had the wrong type of protection.

With this month’s safety tip you’ll get a great overview on how to properly select, wear, and maintain your protective equipment. Don’t be another statistic and develop a “safety first” mentality and workplace culture.

Watch Presentation Now

PPE Safety Tip

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Putting Out A Fire on Electric Vehicle With Water?

Did you know?…

When it comes to a hybrid or electrical car fire, you can actually put it out with WATER?

Surprisingly enough, the Emergency Response Guide (ERG) from the NFPA states explains why. It states that the electrical circuits in HEVs or EVs are “isolated from the vehicle chassis with no direct connection to the ground”. Because of this, a circuit cannot be completed by a fire stream, through the person or firefighter, and into the ground. Where as normally, when you are in the path between the electrical source and the earth or ground you complete the circuit, causing electrocution.

Read more about it from the original NFPA blog at http://nfpa.typepad.com/evsafetytraining/2012/08/wait-a-secondare-you-sure-i-can-use-water-to-put-out-an-electric-vehicle-fire.html.

For information on NFPA 70e / Arc Flash courses, visit us at https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-courses-for-all-industries/arc-flash.

 

 

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New “Tool Shed” Directive by OSHA for Marine Hazards Released

OSHA has released a newly revised directive as guidance for the marine cargo handling industry. The enforcement is aimed at eliminating their workplace hazards and includes requirements on updated personal protective equipment (PPE) and the safe operation of Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTL).

Some of the updates in the document include:

  • clarification that PPE that employers must provide at no cost to their workers, when employers must pay for replacement PPE, and when employers are not required to pay for PPE;
  • information and guidance on VTLs, both on the regulations and the recent court ruling on a challenge by industry to those regulations;
  • changes to the Marine Terminals and Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring provisions based on Phase III of the Standards Improvement Project;
  • settlement agreement between the National Grain and Feed Association Inc. and OSHA;
  • updated answers to commonly asked maritime cargo handling questions; and
  • marine cargo handling safety and health information in a Web-based format with electronic links.

In 2010, seven workers died on the job in the marine cargo handling industry and approximately 2,900 suffered of injuries.

The Marine Terminals standards and the Longshoring standards are the two main standards that regulate the industry. To view OSHA’s Marine Industry standards and regulations, visit http://www.osha.gov/dts/maritime/index.html.

To view the directive, visit http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-00-154.pdf.

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Safety Tips for Working With Ammonia

Ammonia

Ammonia

The article below focuses on the dangers of working with ammonia and gives some helpful tips to remember to stay as safe as possible.

Ammonia can be found in two different forms: ammonium hydroxide or pressurized gas. Most are familiar with the soluble one, ammonium hydroxide, as that is the liquid one. Exposure to ammonia is even more alarming when it is frequent because most people will become desensitized. The chemical is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs, which can cause harm from eye and respiratory irritation to swelling and accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

Here are the tips listed in the article to be aware of:
  • Train employees to work safely with ammonia by following these general precautions and the safe work practices that apply in this facility:
  • Wear personal protective equipment. To work with liquid ammonia, you may need eye, face, and skin protection. To work with liquid or gaseous ammonia, you may require respiratory protection.Ammonia 2
  • Take hot work permitting precautions whenever hot work will be performed in areas where ammonia is present. If piping, vessels, or containers that have held ammonia will be welded, soldered, drilled, or cut, purge all ammonia first.
  • Use proper ventilation. Never work with ammonia in an unventilated area. Always ensure that you have adequate ventilation, and make sure that ventilation is nonsparking or explosion-proof.
  • Store ammonia separately from incompatible chemicals, away from heat and ignition sources.
  • Know what to do in case of a spill or leak. When you work with ammonia, know where the emergency escape respirators are located. If ammonia leaks or is spilled, put on a respirator, and leave the area immediately. Report the spill or leak so it can be appropriately controlled.
  • Know how to respond to splashes. Liquid ammonia can burn your eyes. Know where the emergency eyewash is stored in your work area and how to use it.
Why It Matters

On November 1, 2011, a hazardous materials release occurred at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, just south of San Clemente, California, prompting the immediate evacuation of the plant’s personnel—but it wasn’t a radiation release. The chemical that posed an immediate hazard to the health and safety of workers at the plant was ammonia. You can avoid this kind of incident in your workplace by training your workers on how to work safely around ammonia.

To view the original article, visit http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com/archive/2012/08/03/training_safety_ammonia_hazardous_materials.aspx?Source=SDF&effort=19.

To learn more about Hazard Communication and working safety with chemicals, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-courses-for-all-industries/hazcom or call us at 407-303-8165 to schedule an onsite class for your employees.

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New Mine Regulation Now Effective

Mine operators are now required to identify and correct hazardous conditions and violations of any nine health and safety standards due to the new federal mine regulation that went into effect just a couple of days ago. A strong push for the extent of regulation in this area was heavily caused from the reaction of the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners and repeated violations found in accident reports and enforcement data over a five-year period.

“Effective pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations are the first line of defense to protect miners working in underground coal mines,” says Joseph A. Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.

The nine health and safety standards address ventilation, methane, roof control, combustible materials, rock dust, equipment guarding, and other safeguards.

To view the new ruling, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/04/06/2012-8328/examinations-of-work-areas-in-underground-coal-mines-for-violations-of-mandatory-health-or-safety.

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How to Prevent & Respond to Workplace Violence

If you haven’t already done so, below is the release of the City of Houston’s 6-minute video on how to react to a workplace shooting. Plans to make the video public were made sooner, as a reaction of the Colorado public shooting and released shortly after. According to the video, there are three best ways to react in case of an encounter with a shooter: run, hide, fight.

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Run

  • When an active shooter is in your vicinity, run.
  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.

Hide

  • If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.
  • Lock and/or barricade the door.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Turn out the lights.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain very quiet.
  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view, provide protection if shots are fired in your direction and not trap or restrict your options for movement.

Fight

  • As a last resort, if your life is in danger, fight back.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons, such as using a chair or fire extinguisher to strike the shooter.
  • Commit to your actions.

Remember though, workplace violence CAN be prevented. For onsite training and planning, give us a call at 407-353-8165 or visit or Workplace Violence Page for more information.

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Oil & Natural Gas Industries Boost Their Safety

Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and Gas IndustryAccording to a recent AOPL survey, “spills from crude oil pipelines are down 70% over the last 10 years and spill volumes are down 40%. After an industry integrity management initiative, incidents caused by corrosion are down 73%, equipment failures down 50%, operational errors are down 40% and material and weld failures are down 30%.”

The article below talks about the oil and natural gas industries and how they are focusing on safety and making it their No. 1 priority. As one of the highest regulated industries in the world, they have adopted a list of principles in agreement with the Association of Oil Pipe Liners and the American Petroleum Institute, as a foundation of culture standards to keep improving their safety methods:

  1. Zero incidents: Pipeline operators believe that every incident is preventable and work to that high standard.
  2. Organization-wide commitment: Safety is emphasized at every level of the organization.
  3. A culture of safety: Pipeline operators embrace the need to provide a workplace culture where safety is an enduring value that all employees share.
  4. Continuous improvement: Pipeline operators believe that no matter how safe they already are, they can always improve safety.
  5. Learn from experience: Pipeline operators learn how they can improve safety from their own experiences and by sharing lessons learned industry-wide with other pipeline operators.
  6. Systems for success: Management systems demonstrate that safety efforts are succeeding by measuring performance, tracking changes and confirming improvements.
  7. Employ technology: Operators constantly research and develop new ways to maximize safety.
  8. Communicate with stakeholders: Communicating with the public and stakeholders who value safety, from advocates to the government, is vital to improving safety.

To read the article, visit http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/oil-natural-gas-industries-take-steps-to-boost-safety-2f6bm8l-164809126.html.

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FDOT Pedestrian Safety Campaign Starts

For our readers in Florida: Early this week, the FDOT kicked off their safety campaign, “Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” in Tampa, FL to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness. You can encounter their efforts through TV, social media, different transit advertising, enforcement, and education. Since Monday, frequent “alerts” are posted on their Facebook page with useful tips and important facts and statistics for everyone to know.

“We started yesterday on this test campaign in Hillsborough County because this area is double the national average when it comes to pedestrian fatalities,” Kris Carson, FDOT spokesperson says. “We’re working with law enforcement and we are advertising trying to get people more aware of pedestrian safety. This campaign is all about education, so we handed out shirts to the public yesterday and we were out on Fletcher and Fowler Avenues writing citations to people not following proper safety guidelines.”

FDOT has a goal to reduce pedestrian fatalities by 20% by 2015; saving 15 lives per year. To do this, they have devised a multi-faceted solution that includes: engineering safer pedestrian walkways, educating pedestrians and motorists and enforcing laws more strictly.

Take a look at their campaign through their Facebook page HERE.

Don’t forget to visit us, as well and hit LIKE while you’re there! http://www.facebook.com/SafetyLinks

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OSHA provides resources on mercury exposure protection from fluorescent bulbs

Two educational documents recently released by OSHA will help protect workers from mercury exposure while crushing and recycling fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but the shift to energy-saving fluorescents, which contain mercury.

The OSHA fact sheet* explains how workers may be exposed, what kinds of engineering controls and personal protective equipment they need, and how to use these controls and equipment properly.

The second, OSHA Quick Card, alerts employers and workers to the hazards of mercury and provides information on how to properly clean up accidentally broken fluorescent bulbs to minimize workers’ exposures to mercury.

Fluorescent bulbs can release mercury and may expose workers when they are broken accidentally or crushed as part of the routine disposal or recycling process. Depending on the duration and level of exposure, mercury can cause nervous system disorders such as tremors, kidney problems, and damage to unborn children.

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